Can you guess what this pancake is made from?? Hint: It’s not made from flour, no eggs either. I know, rather vague, a bit of a mystery…keep reading to find out.

Give up…shall I spill the beans? Or should I say, the black-eyed peas (less commonly known as cow peas), technically, legumes, not peas. Yes, just black-eyed peas, spices, and herbs, that’s all — inspired by Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook.

I have accumulated a collection of dried beans, lentils, legumes…that have been slowly taking over my pantry, not to mention a dozen or so different types of flours. I have an affinity for the bulk section of my local grocery store. Always find myself grabbing a little of this or that; you never know when you might need some dried beans in a pinch. So, doing a little necessary spring cleaning and organizing of the pantry, and trying to clear things out. Out with the old, in with the new.

Lurking in the pantry: chickpeas, yellow split peas, lima beans, black-eyed peas, scarlet runner beans (bought these brown and black speckled beans simply because I liked the way they looked, but still not sure what I plan to do with them?), black lentils, and, lastly, fava beans.

The black eyed-peas were soaked for 24 hours and then processed with a few spices and herbs and turned into the pancakes as pictured below — quite a transformation.

I prepared a mildly spicy cauliflower curry with onion, tomatoes, and fresh peas that pairs nicely with the crepes. Next time I might even go a bit spicier, with a little more jalapeno, but that’s entirely up to you and your affinity for heat. I like things on the spicy side — bring on the heat. A dollop of creamy Greek yogurt on top helps to balance the heat from the chiles.

Makes for a nice, simple, and flavorful lunch or light dinner.

Black-Eyed Pea Pancakes

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian

Makes about 6 (7-inch) pancakes
3/4 cup dried black-eyed peas
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
Extra virgin olive oil

Soak the black-eyed peas in water to cover by 5 inches for at least 16 hours. Drain the peas and place in a large bowl. Cover with fresh water. Place both hands in the water and rub the peas between your palms to remove the skins from the peas. The skins will start to float to the surface. Skim off the skins with a slotted spoon (don’t worry if all the skins don’t come off).

Drain the peas and add to the food processor along with the ginger, cayenne, turmeric, and salt. Process until it forms a paste. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water and puree for another minute. Add the cilantro, chives, and cumin, and process for 5 seconds (you should have a thickish batter with specks of cilantro, chives, and cumin).

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, add a heaping 1/3 cup of batter. Spread the batter with a rubber spatula (a little oil on the spatula helps to spread the batter), until you have a pancake that is about 7 inches in diameter. Let the pancake cook for 2 minutes until reddish brown. Flip the pancake and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pancake to a plate and keep covered. Add another teaspoon of oil and repeat with the remaining batter.

Spicy Cauliflower

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil (can substitute olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 jalapeno, finely chopped (or habanero, if you prefer more heat)
1-inch fresh ginger, grated
1 pint chopped cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup coconut water (or water)
4 heaped cups of cauliflower florets (~1 large head)
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped

Combine the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and stir to combine. Set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, ~ 10 seconds, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent but not browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and ginger, and sauté for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the spice paste, tomatoes, and 2/3 cup coconut water (or water), cover and continue to simmer over low heat, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until just tender. Stir in the peas and cook another minute. Stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately.

Note: You can also roast the cauliflower (seasoned generously with curry powder, turmeric, a pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper, and tossed lightly in olive oil) in the oven until nicely browned and toasty, about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, just add the cauliflower, peas, cilantro, and serve, as indicated above.

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So creative and yummy looking!!


So creative and yummy looking!!


Linda, just noticed this great use for cauliflower while I was noodling around on your site. Please drop me a line on if it's ok with you for me to link to it on my blog. Cheers


Linda, just noticed this great use for cauliflower while I was noodling around on your site. Please drop me a line on if it's ok with you for me to link to it on my blog. Cheers

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